Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), predicted Friday morning that a deal could be in place to raise the debt ceiling for a few weeks and to reopen the government by the end of next week.
He said negotiations are ongoing but if the president signals definitively that he is open to a short-term deal and would enter substantive negotiations about a larger debt reduction package, the Congress could "start moving here pretty immediately."
"I don’t know why you couldn’t have the short term debt ceiling secured this weekend or very early next week and, if you’re in a negotiation, I don’t know why you couldn’t have the government open by the middle or end of next week," Cole said.
The talks, he said, are "clearly better than they were 24 hours ago."
And he said Republicans are coming around to the belief that the fixes to the Affordable Care Act should come as part of a larger negotiation with Democrats and not as a condition to reopening the government.
"It’s part of a larger debate and discussion but I don’t think it’s the only point or the central point," Cole said.